Are you prepared for 2018? January is almost over, but it’s not too late to craft a strong plan for the rest of the year. Here are 5 ways to prepare for 2018:
Evaluate Where You Are At
Every set of directions include a starting point. It’s hard to chart a path if you don’t know where you’re at. A thorough evaluation is important; this is where a Small Group Point Person can find the wins and losses of 2017. It’s a great practice to reflect and write down the specifics that occurred. Regardless if your small group’s ministry flourished, or if it isn’t in the place where you want it to be, discover why. What changes occurred? Where you prepared? Could you have been prepared? You might find that this evaluation is the most important thing you do all year.
Does Your Vision Still Match the Needs of Your Community?
If you don’t have a vision for your small group’s ministry stop what you’re doing, and create one. If you are following a vision, check it out again. Compare your vision to what happened in 2017, and ask if the vision still makes sense. Ask yourself, does the vision match the community? Be comfortable with evaluating the culture; it’s possible that the surrounding culture is changing. If your vision still aligns with what God is doing in your community, last year’s plan might not change much. Remember, this time of year is a great time to introduce change. People are in resolution mode; it’s a time of self-evaluation and changes for many people. As a Small Group Point Person, you should leverage this time of year to make the needed changes to your ministry.
Take your small group ministry to the next level by attending the “Lobby Gathering” 2018 in sunny Southern California March 13-15th! Register HERE!
Are you failing enough?
Wait, what? Many of us are so scared of failure, we lack the courage to take the first step. Our goal isn’t to fail, but that should not prevent us from challenging ourselves. As you set your goals, they should be smart and achievable, but don’t get goals mixed up with actions. Sometimes, bold actions are needed to achieve your goals. Look through Scripture and see how many times Jesus talks about being bold vs being safe. Jesus commanded His disciples to go and make disciples. That doesn’t always happen between the church walls. We should teach boldness, and lead by example. This year, don’t limit God by your own limitations. Set up one bold move; something that makes people shake their heads and question your sanity. It might fail, but don’t let failure hold you back!
Never Stop Communicating
A vision is useless if there isn’t anyone around you who knows and understands it. As a Small Group Point Person, your vision is the vision for the ministry. What has God led you to do? People are encouraged by leaders who have confidence in the vision that God has placed on their heart. Communicate your vision when you meet, when you teach, and when you write emails or text. Chop up your vision and values and place them in your conversations. Be so comfortable with communicating your vision that everyone around you can quote them verbatim. In fact, make that your goal!
Without prayer, the rest of this post is useless. Pray that God has placed the right vision on your heart. Pray that God is helping you set up your goals and objectives. Pray that God is developing the right leaders in your small group’s ministry. Pray that everything you do meets the needs and expectations of the community where God placed you. Pray for your future failures and pray for humility to learn from them. Pray for prosperity and pray that God will bless your ministry.
Michael lives in Palm Bay, Florida with his wife and two kids. He serves CenterPointe church as the Next Steps Pastor and is pursuing his Ed.D. in Ministry Leadership at Liberty University. Prior to full-time ministry, Michael worked in healthcare leadership for over 10 years.